HotMol - Hot Molecules in Exoplanets and Inner Disks

Advanced grant of the European Research Council (ERC)

The ERC is a european fundinig initiative, designed to support the best scientists, engineers and scholars in Europe. Its advanced grant scheme is highly competitive and awarded on the sole criterion of excellence to promote frontier research with unconventional approaches and at the interface between established disciplines.

The ERC HotMol Project

Professor Svetlana Berdyugina receives 2,5 Million Euro for her 5-year project to study the gaseous environment of extrasolar planets and their precursors-protoplanets. She will develop innovative approaches for sensitive detection of molecules, such as water, methane or others, in warm planetary atmospheres. These "hot" molecules will be the key to understanding the formation of earth like planets and habitable environments. Earlier, in 2008, she and her team were first to detect reflected light from an extrasolar planet with the help of polarimetry. This technique will be further employed for detecting molecules in exoplanetary atmospheres.  

More information on this project can be found on this dedicated website.